Royal Mail commissioned the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) to conduct analysis to identify the most desirable postcodes in England, Scotland and Wales. The study took account of different aspects of the quality of life of the UK’s postcode sectors including availability of jobs, quality of education, quality of healthcare, safety, environment and the affordability of housing. The research was conducted by reviewing a number of data sources at the local level, including the 2011 Census, the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation, several releases from the Office for National Statistics and lending data from the British Bankers Association and the Council for Mortgage Lenders.
- Royal Mail has commissioned a study of the most desirable postcodes to live in England, Scotland and Wales to mark the 40th anniversary of the allocation of postcodes to every address in Britain
- Located on the edge of Salisbury Plain and with HRH The Prince of Wales as the patron of its polo club, the SP9 postcode sector representing the garrison town of Tidworth is the most desirable in England
- The GU46 postcode sector covering the Hampshire village of Yateley is the second most desirable in England, Meanwhile, CA27 – home to the seaside resort of St Bees – was third, representing the first of three Cumbrian towns in the top ten most desirable postcodes to live in England
- In Scotland, the most desirable postcode is G44, in the south side of Glasgow
- The picturesque postcode sector of LL78 – representing Brynteg on the Isle of Anglesey – is the most desirable in Wales
Royal Mail has commissioned a study of the most desirable postcodes to live in England, Scotland and Wales to mark the 40th anniversary of the allocation of postcodes to every address in Britain.
The study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) calculated the most desirable postcodes based on a range of factors including employment opportunities, health, education, crime rates and housing affordability.
Steve Rooney, Head of Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit, said: “Royal Mail commissioned the study to reveal the most desirable postcode sectors to live to mark the 40th anniversary of the allocation of postcodes to every address in Britain.
“The invention of the postcode revolutionised the way post is sorted and delivered. As it has evolved, the postcodes have also revolutionised the way companies do business. The postcode is now used by businesses and individuals in their everyday activities, whether that is verifying a person’s address when making a transaction or planning a route on a SatNav system.”
Tidworth is top
Located on the edge of Salisbury Plain and with HRH The Prince of Wales as the patron of its polo club, the SP9 postcode sector representing the garrison town of Tidworth, in Wiltshire, is the most desirable in England.
The GU46 postcode sector covering the Hampshire village of Yateley is the second most desirable in England, the study found.
Top ten most desirable postcode sectors in England
1. SP9 – Tidworth, Wiltshire
2. GU46 – Yateley, Hampshire
3. CA27 – St Bees, Cumbria
4. CW10 – Middlewich, Cheshire
5. RG6 – Earley, Berkshire
6. GU52 – Church Crookham, Hampshire
7. MK8 – north west Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
8. CA20 – Gosforth/Seascale, Cumbria
9. DE3 – Mickleover, Derbyshire
10. CA24 – Moor Row, Cumbria
G44 – the most desirable postcode sector in Scotland
The most desirable postcode sector to live in Scotland is G44, which is in the south side of Glasgow. The area includes Cathcart Cemetery, the burial place of actress Madge Metcalfe, the mother of Stan Laurel, one half of the famous comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
Postcodes in Erskine in Renfrewshire which is on the south bank of the River Clyde, Menstrie in Clackmannanshire, the popular seaside resort of Largs on the Ayrshire coast and Port Askaig, the main port on the Isle of Islay make up the most desirable top five in Scotland.
Top five most desirable postcode sectors in Scotland
1. G44 – South Glasgow
2. PA8 – Erskine, Renfrewshire
3. KA30 – Largs, Ayrshire
4. FK11 – Menstrie, Clackmannanshire
5. PA46 – Port Askaig, Isle of Islay
Popular tourist spot tops the table in Wales
The picturesque postcode sector of LL78 – representing Brynteg on the Isle of Anglesey – is the most desirable in Wales, the study found. Brynteg is a popular location for tourists. CF61 – the postcode for the small coastal town of Llantwit Major – is next most popular. This is followed by SY18 (Llanidloes), situated in mid Wales on the bank of the River Severn.
Top five most desirable postcode sectors in Wales
1. LL78 – Brynteg, Isle of Anglesey
2. CF61 – Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan
3. SY18 – Llanidloes, Powys
4. NP26 – Caldicot, Monmouthshire
5. SA4 – North West Swansea, West Glamoragn
For further information contact:
James Eadie: 020 7449 8254/ 07850 757271
The history of the postcode
In 1959, the first postcodes were trialled in Norwich. Royal Mail started a major mechanism programme designed to use machines to overcome the problems of labour intensive letter sorting. This depended on reducing the address to a machine-readable code. In 1966, the eight-year programme to postcode the whole country began. This was completed in 1974 with the recoding of Norwich.
The postcode today
There are around 1.8 million postcodes in use today across the UK. The use of the postcode has evolved over the years and has now become much more than a tool for driving Royal Mail delivery.
The Postcode Address File (PAF), managed by Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit, contains details of all 29 million UK delivery points. It is used by tens of thousands of organisations and businesses every day to update databases, confirm identities, prevent fraud and support new satellite navigation and location solutions.
Five facts about the postcode
- There are around 1.8 million postcodes across the UK, covering over 29 million addresses. In total, there are 48 million postcodes available under Royal Mail’s alpha-numeric system
- The combination of letters and numbers was chosen because people can remember a mixture of numbers and letters more easily than a list of numbers and it gives more code combinations
- Optical recognition machines read the postcodes and automatically convert them to phosphor dots. These are in turn read by the sorting machines which handle correctly addressed, post-coded letters 20 times faster than manual sorting
- On average one postcode covers 17 residential addresses
- Royal Mail’s online Postcode Finder is one of the UK’s most used webpages with around 100,000 visits a day – more than 40 million a year
The desirable postcode index was constructed by Cebr and takes into account the following for each individual area:
- Employment opportunities
- Health levels
- Education and training opportunities
- Crime levels
- Homelessness, household overcrowding and ease of accessing local services
- The quality of the physical environment
- Housing affordability – the relationship between average house prices and average annual earnings
Deprivation statistics are taken from the governments for each country (e.g. the Department for Communities and Local Government for England). Average annual earnings is taken from the Office for National Statistics’ Survey of Hours and Earnings. House prices are taken from the Land Registry, the Registers of Scotland and the government of Northern Ireland.
The different deprivation measures are weighted together depending on their importance to overall deprivation (by government definition). This is then combined with the affordability indicator with equal weight to reflect the fact that regardless of how high the quality of life is in an area, if it is unaffordable then most won’t be able to access it.